The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of methylphenidate, a psychostimulant, on quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) during the continuous performance test (CPT) in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The QEEG was obtained from 20 boys with ADHD. The amplitudes of 4 bands (α, β, δ, and θ) in the QEEG, as well as the θ/β ratio, before and after the administration of methylphenidate were compared during both the resting and CPT states. Methylphenidate induced a significant increase of α activities in both the right and left frontal and occipital areas, an increase of β activities in almost all areas except for the temporal region, a decrease of θ activities in both the occipital and right temporo-parietal areas, a mild decrease of δ activities in the occipito-parietal areas, and an increase of the θ/β ratio in the right frontal and parieto-occipital, and left temporal areas during the CPT state. No significant QEEG changes were induced by the administration of methylphenidate in the resting state. These data suggest that methylphenidate has greater electrophysiological influences on the cerebral topographical activities during the performance of attentional tasks, as compared to the resting state, in boys with ADHD.
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